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Strong Traffic performance

During the very challenging second year of the pandemic in 2021, Athens International Airport handled over 12 million passengers exceeding the respective 2020 levels by 52.8%, but lagging behind by 51.7% compared to 2019.

Traffic remained at low levels in the 1st half of the year, due to ongoing travel restrictions and COVID-19 waves peaking unsynchronized in different markets.

Greece eased entry requirements in June 2021, with traffic returning in significant numbers from major international markets. Traffic recovery in November 2021 reached 73%, with almost 3 in every 4 passengers Athens had in November 2019, returning.

Unfortunately, the Omicron variant emerged around that time and especially in Europe, Athens core market, traffic fell in December and early 2022 from a very low 55% of 2019 traffic.  However, Q1-2022 ended with traffic returning at 64% of 2019 level and early performance for April 2022 is even more promising at 83%.

Domestic traffic returned faster than International, reaching 60% in 2021 compared to 2019 and 72% for Q1-2022. For mid-April 2022, domestic traffic improved even further, reaching 90.5% to 2019 levels. For mid-April 2022, the International traffic performed even stronger at 76% of 2019 respective period.

Based on ACI/Rapid Data Exchange Programme, Major European Airports’ Benchmarking for 2021, Athens achieved the highest Passenger traffic recovery levels among all EU, United Kingdom and Switzerland capital airports. Athens recovery outperformed European average of -63.2%, by 12 ppts, highlighting the resilience and attractiveness of the Athenian market.

Leisure was the major travel segment with 52% in 2021, followed by VFR with 25% and 18% for Business, with 80% of the traffic traveling O&D, while 20% Transfer.

Rebuilding the Network and beyond

For 2021, Athens was connected to 144 airport destinations, 132 cities, 49 countries (including GR), with services operated by 62 airlines.  Network rebuild at 84% of 2019 and 94% of airlines operated, returned.

Despite the challenging times, Athens secured 33 NEW routes, including 5 NEW destinations with 2 Long Haul, Atlanta & Washington (and American adding new service on the existing JFK-ATH route), plus Bacau, Dortmund & Montpellier in Europe. Compared to 2019, 2 NEW airlines offered scheduled PAX services to Athens, LOT Polish Airlines and WizzAir Abu Dhabi.

Summer 2022 looks even more promising with 43 NEW routes, some of them having already started and others just starting, including 8 NEW destinations and 6 new airlines, all in all paving the way for a strong Summer Season ahead.

New destinations include Bilbao with services offered by Volotea and Aegean, Birmingham with, Boston with Delta, Florence with Aegean, Kuwait with Aegean, Leipzig with Condor, Nis with airSerbia and Turin with Aegean. Air Albania, Condor, BA Euroflyer, Flyr, and TUS Airways will offer services to Athens for the first time.

Prague International Airport

 In addition to above new developments, a large number of existing services will benefit by increased frequencies and larger aircraft types, boosting available capacity in the Athens market closer to pre-pandemic levels.



Supporting our airline partners

At the same time, Athens International Airport remains committed to substantially support all airlines operating to/from Athens, especially during such difficult times, aiming at creating a favorable environment within which airlines will be able to maintain and further increase their operations to/from Athens.

To this effect, Athens International Airport extended throughout 2021, the very successful and widely acknowledged “Restart Incentive”, introduced in Summer 2020, offering significant discounts in Landing and Parking charges to all airlines operating International, scheduled passenger services to/from Athens. The scheme was further extended up to March 2022, to offer the same support during the Winter season.

 In addition to the Restart Incentive scheme, the well-known developmental incentives, that Athens is traditionally offering, remained available as well as enhanced Marketing Support provided, benefiting not only airlines establishing new services but all airlines.

Understanding the challenging environment our airline partners are operating, Athens extended the Restart Incentive scheme also for Summer 2022 (April to October), offering substantial discounts to airlines operating a certain number of flights to 2019 levels.

We wish our partners a wonderful “Athenian” season ahead and we remain totally committed to support with all developmental plans our airlines have at Athens.


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